American Rescue Plan funding, Women's Health Twitter chat, and more

A Newsletter from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

 May 6, 2021

HHS Secretary Becerra, HUD Secretary Fudge Announce Joint Effort to Increase Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations

hud and hhs logos

May 5 - U.S. Health and Human Service (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today announced a joint-agency effort to increase access to COVID-19 prevention and treatment services, including testing and vaccinations, among disproportionately affected communities, including among HUD-assisted households and people experiencing homelessness. This program will leverage the Health Center COVID-19 health Vaccine Program  which currently provides a direct supply of vaccines to nearly 800 health centers across the country. HHS and HUD expect the effort will reach over 6,000 multifamily housing properties, 6,700 homeless shelters, and approximately 7,500 public housing properties across the country to respond to and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Secretaries Becerra and Fudge unveiled the joint agreement during a visit to Community of Hope. Located in Ward 8 of Washington, D.C., Community of Hope is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) supported by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration and a HUD-funded homeless services and housing provider for families with children.  

Read the release.

HHS Announces Nearly $1 Billion from American Rescue Plan for Rural COVID-19 Response

nurse going over health record with patient

Funding Will Help Communities, Hospitals, Health Clinics Respond to the Pandemic and Support Local Efforts to Increase Vaccine Confidence and Uptake in Rural Communities.

May 4 - Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing the availability of nearly $1 billion to strengthen COVID-19 response efforts and increase vaccinations in rural communities. As part of the Biden Administration's commitment to expanding access to vaccines and ensuring equity in the COVID-19 response, the Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of HHS, will increase the number of vaccines sent to rural communities, expand testing and other COVID-19 prevention services, and work to increase vaccine confidence by empowering trusted local voices with additional funding for outreach efforts in underserved communities.

"Rural health providers are vital to ensure equity in COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and in making sure rural residents have the information about vaccine safety, especially for populations who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to systemic health and social inequities and geographic isolation," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Support to Rural Health Clinics and small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing, strengthening vaccine allocation and confidence, and vaccine outreach will help rural residents make informed health decisions about COVID-19 to protect themselves and their communities."

Read the release.

HHS Announces $250 Million from American Rescue Plan to Develop and Support a Community-Based Workforce to Increase COVID-19 Vaccinations in Underserved Communities

diverse group of health providers

May 4 - Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced the availability of approximately $250 million to develop and support a community-based workforce who will serve as trusted voices sharing information about vaccines, increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, and address any barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities.

This funding will help community-based organizations to hire and mobilize community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists and others to conduct on-the-ground outreach to educate and assist individuals in getting the information they need about vaccination, help make vaccine appointments, and assist with transportation and other needs to get to individuals to each of their vaccination appointments.

Read the release.

HHS Launches New Reimbursement Program for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fees not Covered by Insurance

young man received vaccine

May 3 – The US Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is announcing a new program covering costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. Since providers cannot bill patients for COVID-19 vaccination fees, this new program, the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), addresses an outstanding compensation need for providers on the front lines vaccinating underinsured patients.

“After securing enough COVID-19 vaccines for all adults, the Biden-Harris Administration is elevating work to boost access to them,” said HHS Secretary Becerra. “We listened to our healthcare providers on the frontlines of the pandemic. On top of increasing reimbursement rates tied to administering the shots, we are closing the final payment gap that resulted as vaccines were administered to underinsured individuals. No healthcare provider should hesitate to deliver these critical vaccines to patients over reimbursement cost concerns.”

Read the release.

Visit the CAF webpage and review the program fact sheet for a quick look at the program.

Provider Webcasts – Register Now HRSA is hosting two informational webcasts to present an overview of the enrollment, claims submission, and payment processes.

HHS Awards Over $32 Million in American Rescue Plan Funding to Expand COVID-19 Training and Support for Health Centers

doctors interacting remotely online

Targeted investments will promote effective and efficient use of resources to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment.

April 29 – Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $32 million to 122 organizations that provide training and technical assistance support to HRSA Health Center Program-supported health centers nationwide. These organizations—Primary Care Associations (PCAs), National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs)—will use the funds to provide health centers with critical COVID-19 related training, technical assistance, and health information technology support.

“Health centers play a critical role in responding to COVID-19 in their communities,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This funding will help ensure that health centers serving medically underserved communities and those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 have the training and support they need to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment.”

Read the release.

HHS Announces $1 Billion from American Rescue Plan for Construction and Renovation Projects at Health Centers

construction work site

April 27 - Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing the availability of $1 billion for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-Health Center Program funded health centers to support major construction and renovation projects across the country. The funding builds on President Biden's commitment to ensuring equity in access to COVID-19 response efforts and high quality primary health care services.

Health centers that receive this funding will be able to use it for COVID-19 related capital needs and to construct new facilities, renovate and expand existing facilities, and purchase new equipment.

"As the pandemic has made clear, modernizing the physical infrastructure of many of our country's health centers is long overdue," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "This latest American Rescue Plan funding will enable these vital community institutions that serve some of our most vulnerable populations to build state-of-the-art facilities to be better prepared to address COVID-19 and many other public health challenges."

Read the release.

HRSA Awards over $12.7 Million to Programs Enhancing Health Care Delivery to Rural Underserved Populations

family in clinic with doctor

April 20 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced more than $12.7 million in funding to 61 public, private and non-profit entities across 35 states to serve rural communities and address rural health disparities as part of its community-based Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach Program).

The Outreach Program expands and improves health services for rural residents by supporting innovative and evidence-based approaches tailored to the specific needs of local communities.

"HRSA is dedicated to supporting community-focused approaches to improve health care in rural and underserved areas," said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa. "Through strong partnerships with local organizations, the Outreach Program will improve the health of the nation’s underserved and vulnerable rural populations and expand access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services."

Read the release.

HHS Announces Nearly $150 Million from American Rescue Plan to Support Community-Based Health Care Providers with COVID-19 Response

patients and health workers in clinic

Part of Biden Administration Efforts to Strengthen Equity in COVID-19 Response and Vaccinations, As These Providers Serve Predominately Low-Income and Minority Communities

April 19 – Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing the availability of nearly $150 million to community-based health care providers to aid their response to COVID-19. These funds will support approximately 100 Health Center Program look-alikes to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, strengthen vaccination efforts, and enhance health care services and infrastructure in communities across the country. Health center look-alikes (LALs) are community-based health care providers that provide essential primary care services to underserved communities and vulnerable populations but are not Health Center Program grantees. This funding will be made available through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is part of President Biden's commitment to ensuring equity in the nation's COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts.

"The Biden Administration understands the urgency to get resources directly into communities hit hardest by the pandemic," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, needed aid is coming to vulnerable communities – to help them respond to the pandemic, to increase testing and vaccinations, and to provide critical health services."

Read the release.

NHSC Loan Repayment Programs’ Application Deadline Extended

national health service corps graphic

Our National Health Service Corps (NHSC) has extended its application deadline for three loan repayment programs:

The Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan is providing an additional $800 million in funding to award a significantly larger number of eligible clinicians this year.

The application closes on May 27, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

New Rural Health Workforce Funding Opportunity Coming Soon

doctors reviewing documents

In collaboration with the Delta Regional Authority, we will release a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Delta Region Rural Health Workforce Program. Funding will support education and training for current and future health professionals in the rural counties and parishes of the Mississippi River Delta Region and Alabama Black Belt region, and will focus on critical administrative support occupations including medical coding and billing, claims processing, information management, and clinical documentation.

Check out our Rural Hospital Programs for more information for the opportunity coming later this spring.

COVID-19 Uninsured Program Fact Sheets


We developed two fact sheets to help both patients and providers better understand their rights and responsibilities regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines. They address concerns about barriers to getting health care, particularly among people who are uninsured, such as undocumented immigrants.

The fact sheets underscore the point that COVID-19 vaccines are free to all individuals living in the United States regardless of their immigration or insurance status.

Download Spanish and English fact sheets.

Heart Healthy Women: Supporting Women’s Unique Cardiovascular Health Needs

photo of four women

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States? Our Office of Women’s Health (OWH) and Office of Regional Operations invite you to honor National Women’s Health Week by joining us to learn about Heart Healthy Women: Supporting Women’s Unique Cardiovascular Health Needs on Wednesday, May 12, from 3-4 p.m. EDT.

In this third installment of the OWH Women’s Health Leadership Series, speakers will share research-based insights into women’s unique cardiovascular health needs, Federal data and resources on women’s heart health, and successful strategies that community health centers are implementing to improve women’s cardiovascular health.

Register for the webinar.

#HRSAWomensChat Twitter Chat

hrsa twitter chat women's health graphic

Join us for a Twitter Chat on May 12 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss women’s health. Let’s connect, share best practices, and lead change to promote healthy women and healthy communities. We’ll use the hashtag #HRSAWomensChat. To participate and to receive a partner packet, email

Supporting and Sustaining Rural Hospitals

rural road with a hospital sign

The National Conference of State Legislatures published a LegisBrief on how state policymakers are supporting and safeguarding rural hospitals. This includes appropriating funds to facilities and providers, exploring Medicaid coverage and eligibility, pursuing alternative payment models, and supporting technical assistance to hospital staff and administrators. As of January 2021, more than 800 rural hospitals across 47 states were at immediate or high risk of closure.

This publication was supported by a cooperative agreement with HRSA.

Read the LegisBrief.

The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice – HRSA’s Investment in Public Health

medical residents group photo

The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice published a supplement highlighting work being undertaken by preventive medicine residents funded through our Preventive Medicine program. Preventive medicine is the only medical specialty that requires training in both direct patient care and population health.

As health organizations, including federal agencies, move toward measuring and improving population health, and as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes problems within health care and the public health infrastructure, the specialty of preventive medicine is more important now than ever before.

This journal supplement was supported by a cooperative agreement with HRSA.

Read about HRSA-funded Preventive Medicine Residency projects.

image of a calendar


  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Older Americans Month
  • Children's Mental Health Awareness Week (2-8)
  • National Nurses Week (6-12)
  • National Women's Health Week (9-15)
  • Hepatitis Testing Day (19)
  • National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (19)


Funding Opportunities


Health Centers

American Rescue Plan – Funding for Look-Alikes (ARP-LAL) - apply by May 14

American Rescue Plan – Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements – apply by June 24


Health Workforce

NHSC Scholarship Program – apply by May 11

Primary Care Dental Faculty Development Program - apply by May 21

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program – apply by May 26

NHSC Loan Repayment Programs – apply by May 27



Capacity Building for Sustainable HIV Services - apply by May 7

Quality Improvement Solutions for Sustained Epidemic Control Project (QISSEC) - apply by May 7

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B States/Territories Supplemental Grant Program - apply by May 10

Global Reach I - apply by May 10

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Early Intervention Services Program: Existing Geographic Service Areas - apply by June 21

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Early Intervention Services Program: Existing Geographic Service Areas - apply by June 21

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Early Intervention Services Program: Existing Geographic Service Areas - apply by June 21


Maternal and Child Health

State Newborn Screening Interoperability Implementation Program - apply by May 10

Screening and Interventions for Adverse Childhood Experiences in Primary Care Settings Demonstration Project - apply by May 17

Evaluating Genetic and Genomic Medicine Implementation and Outcomes in the Regional Genetics Networks (EGGMIO-RGN) - apply by June 7

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program – Formula - apply by June 15

EMSC State Partnership Rural Expansion Program - apply by June 25

Pediatric Audiology Competitive Supplement to Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) - apply by July 1

Maternal and Child Health Services - apply by September 1


Rural Health

Rural Residency Planning and Development Technical Assistance Program - apply by May 21

Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program - apply by June 4


View All Funding Opportunities